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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

The Latin Legacy

33.

Rwnania3 Spain, and Portugal adopted magis (Rumanian mat, Spanish
mds, Portuguese mats), while Italy and Gaul embraced plus (Italian pi&>
French plus) Latin adjectives comparable to English good, better, best,
with comparative and superlative forms derived from other roots,
resisted this change, and are now islands of irregularity in an ocean of
order. They appear in the table of irregular comparison (p 337) In
all Romance languages the ordinary superlative is formed by putting
the definite article in front of the comparative form e g Spanish mas
nco (richer), el mds nco (the richest) Spanish and Italian have adjectival
forms of the same pattern as the Latin superlative with the terminal
-issimus, but they are not equivalent to superlatives in the grammatical
sense of the term The terminal -istmo (-a) of Spanish or -isstmo (-a)
of Italian signifies exceedingly as in the exclamation bravo bravtsstmo?
or in the mode of address used in letters canssima (dearest) These
synthetic superlatives re-introduced by the learned should be used
sparingly Spanish muy or Italian molto both meaning very, replace
them adequately in most situations, e g Spanish es muy nco (he is very
rich) for es nquisimo

The Spanish and Italian  article before the superlative drops out
when the latter follows immediately after a noun French retains the
article, e g

English               the richest man.

Spanish              el hornbre mas nco

Italian               Tuorao piu ncco

French               Phomme le plus nche

The comparative particle corresponding to English than is que m
French and Spanish e g French plus timide qu'un lapin (shier than a
rabbit) Italian uses dt (Latin de)9 e g ^ piu povero dt me (he is poorer
than I) In Spanish and French de also occurs, but confined to situations
in which than is followed by a numeral, e g Spanish menos de cuatro
dias (less than four days), Preach plus de trots siecles (more than three
centuries)

REGULAR COMPARISON


	FRENCH
	SPANISH
	LATIN
	ITALIAN

hot
	chaud
	calido
	calidus
	caldo

hotter
	plus  chaud
	mas calido
	cahdior
	piu caldo (di)

(Than)
	(que)
	(que)
	(quam)
	

hottest
	le plus chaud
	el mas calido
	cahdissimus
	il piu caldo


	(de)
	(de)
	
	(d!)

as hot as
	aussi  chaud
	tan  cdlido
	tarn calidus
	cost caldo come


	que
	como
	quam